Sunday, March 30, 2014

OBSCURE O.V.A.S, *Vampire Princess Miyu

Before the anime TV series was brought out here as part of Tokyopop's short-lived premiere into the world of American releasing of anime, there was this gorgeous 4-episode OVA series from the 80s. With numerous mini-series of the manga having been published into the States through Antarctic Press and then Studio Ironcat, die-hard otaku out here first fell in love with this in the original anime. Directed by Dangaioh creator Toshiki Hirano, this anime broke some serious ground for its time considering OVAs were still getting the bearings in the Japanese market.

Throughout Japan, mankind has been plagued by hidden monsters called shinma, which are apparently the spawn of gods and demons. A daywalker vampire "princess" named Miyu and her masked shinma underling Larva set out to remove all the shinma, partially because Miyu believes they're infringing on her territory, but it's also part of some duty she's been born into. She masquerades as an average schoolgirl by day, and sets out to do the Buffy thing by night. Miyu comes across Himiko, a professional spiritualist who acts as her own personal Van Helsing, stalking her believing Miyu to be pure evil while at the same time taking on various supernatural cases that might lead to her. Among her X-Files, Himiko's cases include a rich boy who sells his soul to a marionette shinma, the vengeful ghost of a deceased girl, and a living suit of samurai armor. Miyu dispatches her prey either by writing the shinma's name which sends it back to the spirit world, or by literally killing it with fire! Her powers aren't just the standard vampire ones, as she can also seem to shoot out beams of energy and teleporting, so she's like an X-Man among vampires, even though there aren't any other Draculas who show up in the series.

The original manga itself actually acts as a middle ground between the OVA and the TV series, even thought its never fully confirmed that the TV series was a sequal to the OVA or its own separate take on the story. There was also the New Vampire Princess Miyu sequal manga, as well as the Vampire Princess Yui spinoff manga that are worth looking into. The OVA series is still on Animego's dwindling catalog of old school anime titles, even though its available as two separate volumes instead of a single collected DVD, but still worth adding to your library.

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